Today I have the privilege of introducing our blog readers to a new Books & Such agent, Barb Roose. Barb has been a part of our agency for seven years as a client of Rachelle Gardner. All we agents have come to know and appreciate her humor, warmth, and intelligence through Books & Such retreats and gatherings over the last several years.
When it came time to add an agent to our roster, Barb seemed to me an obvious choice. An accomplished author and national speaker, she brings a raft of experience with her.
To help you become acquainted with her, I asked her a few get-to-know you questions.
Q: What behind-the-scenes preparations have you been making to launch you into agenting?
A: Lots of learning and listening! I’ve had many life-giving conversations with my fellow agents about their experience, wisdom, and passion for partnering with hopeful and established authors. Janet, I love that you set the agency standard for encouragement and open-handedness when it comes to sharing the resources that I need to be a successful agent.
Q: What experiences and skills do you see God has built into your life that make agenting a good fit for you?
A: I don’t know about anyone else, but at many points in my life I’ve given God lots of suggestions about the direction in which I thought that my life should go.
Thankfully, God didn’t answer my prayer! For every detour, closed road, and construction zone, God invited me to embrace those unexpected moments so that I could develop perseverance, courage, compassion, and grit.
As a woman and person of color, most of my career paths meant that I would often be the only in the room. “Trailblazer” is the word that comes to mind as I reflect on my years in sales, ministry, leadership, coaching, speaking, and as an author. I love that these career pathways converged to deliver me to the path that I’m on now.
Q: As someone with a strong background in sales, how do you think that job experience adds to your agent skill-set?
A: During my years in pharmaceutical sales, I learned that connection and relationship create a higher return-on-investment than a single sales transaction or contract.
Caring and competition aren’t mutually exclusive. Caring means that I value what my client, an editor, or a publisher is trying to build. Competition means that I’m not afraid to improvise, adapt, or overcome whatever challenges stand in the way.
Q: From a writer’s perspective, what do appreciate most about the Christian publishing industry?
A: As an African-American woman, I appreciate that I’ve been welcomed and encouraged to include my authentic self, stories, and experiences in my writing and my platform.
I appreciate the opportunity to make a “now-and-eternal” difference and help people to live with passion and purpose.
I’ve been lucky that I’ve met and worked with so many people in publishing who’ve taken me under their wing to show me how the industry works. Many people have opened doors to opportunities that I couldn’t push open on my own.
Q: What have you learned about agenting as Rachelle Gardner’s client?
A: Foremost, I admire how passionately Rachelle champions thoughtful and brilliant voices from whom Christian publishing needs to hear.
As an agent, Rachelle is confident and steady. I know enough authors now to know that we struggle to keep perspective on our careers and the industry. As a client, I value how Rachelle keeps me focused. During the quarantine, she created a safe space for her clients to gather online with the sole goal of being present for us.
I want to model Rachelle’s ability to patiently hold space with an author while helping him or her to keep looking forward, even if we’re not ready to move ahead.
Q: I know you’ve been giving considerable thought to what qualities you’re looking for in potential new clients. Could you give us a checklist of what is uppermost in your mind?
A: As an agent, my dream is to partner with authors to achieve their publishing goals and dreams. I’m looking for clients who have these three essential elements:
A “wow” concept or proposal + great writing + an attractive platform.
Second, I love the culture that you’ve created among the Books & Such agents. Our agency is a “we” culture, not a “me” culture. I’ve felt like part of a community as a B&S author, so I want to find clients that first and foremost fit into our culture.
Q: What kind of projects are of special interest to you and why?
A: My literary magnets are fiction and nonfiction books about courage, perseverance, and grit. When writers tell stories about overcoming life and faith challenges, I feel connected to them. God uses them to teach me how to endure and overcome in my own life so that I can get better at loving and serving others.
I’m looking to work with authors who see themselves on the journey with their readers–not ahead or behind–but walking alongside them toward God’s best.
Q: What’s one little-known detail about you that would surprise us?
A: I prefer to eat my dessert first before my dinner. Why take the risk in getting full and not having enough room for it later?
Thanks, Barb, for giving our blog readers a glimpse into who are you. Everyone will get to hear from you regularly here on the blog. I know they’re in for a treat as you share your writing wisdom with us as well as new angles of publishing that you’ll explore as an agent.
If you would like to query Barb, you may contact her at the representation@booksandsuch using Barb’s name in the subject line.
Please feel free to welcome Barb and ask her any questions you have in the comments.
A new literary agent tells about herself and what type of clients and projects she’s looking to represent. Click to tweet.
Rachelle L Gardner
Welcome, Barb! We’re so excited to have you on the team, and it’s obvious you’re a perfect fit already. Here’s to a long and successful agenting career!
Rachelle, thank you for saying yes to me as a client years ago. As a client and now agent, the Books & Such team has welcomed me with such kindness, encouragement and support.
Congratulations Barb Roose! What a great team you get to work with at Books & Such. I look forward to reading your posts here. My husband recently retired at a major hospital as Director of Pharmacy for 36 years so I connected that you were in Pharmaceutical Sales. ????
Best wishes for your new venture!
Hi Daphne, first happy retirement to your husband! That’s a wonderful milestone for you and your family. Thank you for stopping by the B&S blog today to celebrate with us, too.
Welcome to the Land of Query,
begging to be chosen,
pondered till your eyes are bleary
and your brain feels frozen.
Welcome to the care of clients,
a proud and trembling crew
who will place the full reliance
for their career on you.
Acq eitors you meet on Zoom
seem kindly, easy marks,
but close the door of conference room
and it’s petting zoo with sharks.
Barb Roose, welcome to Wonderland;
all rise now, and give her a hand!
Andrew, I chuckled at the line about the petting zoo with sharks. So true!
Andrew, this is so good. Thank you for creating this memorable moment on my first official day. That’s really special. Thank you.
Andrew, as always your sonnets hit the mark. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise and give Barb a hand. Standing ovation here for both of you.
I think it’s appropriate to congratulate both Barb and us (the Books & Such team)! This is great news worth sharing!
Cynthia, thank you! I appreciate all of the time and support that you’ve showered on me.
Congratulations, Barb and B&S, on this brilliant move. Good things ahead for sure.
Hi Gayle! Thank you, my friend, for sharing such kind words. Sending you a warm hug today.
Congratulations, Barb. It sounds like you will fit right in with this stellar group of women. As soon as you said you eat dessert first, I became a fan. 🙂
Cheryl, long live dessert, right?! You’re also right that the Books & Such team is a fabulous group of ladies. I’m grateful to be part of the agency team. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.
Hello Ms. Roose; Great to meet you! Prayers for success in your new career, and for the Books & Such team!
Hi Patricia, thanks for stopping by the Books & Such blog today to celebrate with us!
What amazing news–congratulations, Barb and Books & Such, on this wonderful new partnership! Blessings on you all in this new season!
Hi Kiersti! Thank you for the kind words and well wishes. I appreciate it!
Janet Ann Collins
Welcome, Barb. I look forward to meeting you in person at a writers conference, assuming those can happen again.
Janet, I share that hope with you! Thank you for stopping by to say hi and I hope to meet you as well!
Such lovely news. Congratulations.
Hi Gail, thank you so much!
I am SO excited Barb has joined the agent ranks! I love you, Barb, and wish you the BEST!
Janet, you’ve been a friend and such an encourager to me over the years. I appreciate you!
FANTASTIC!!! We are so lucky! I hope you have a terrific beginning, a long agent career and we all get to meet again at a retreat someday! WOo HoO!
Thank you, Lisa! I’ve received so much encouragement, support and wisdom from Janet and the team. It’s been a great experience!
Thank you, Shelli! I appreciate it!
Kristen Joy Wilks
Welcome, Barb! It’s exciting to see you join the Books and Such family. Hmmm … I better go look over my manuscripts and see if I have anything that might tempt you! Courage, overcoming, growing in faith through the zigs and zags in the journey … hmmm.
Hi Kristen, thanks for stopping by the blog today to welcome me!
What a perfect fit! Congratulations to both Barb and Books and Such! May God use this wonderful partnership to get more books full of vision out into the world!
Deb, thank you for this message. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. Many hugs and blessings to you my friend.
Welcome, Barb! Such great news!
Thank you, Julia! I appreciate it!
We are so excited to have Barb onboard as an agent. She’s smart, she’s fun and she loves Jesus. This is the perfect place for her.
Wendy, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and so, so much support. This is an amazing agency and I’m a lucky girl.
I was immediately drawn in by your interview. Congratulations on this new role. May the Lord bless the work of your hands!
I’d love to find out how to connect with you for an interview as a potential client. 🙂
Sara, you may contact Barb by writing to email@example.com and put Barb’s name in the Subject line.
Congratulations on your new career!
Thank you, Nan!
Congratulations, Barb. And congratulations to B&S for getting you. Looks like a win-win-win all the way around.
Hi Judith, thank you for stopping by the Books & Such blog today and sharing such warm and kind words. We appreciate them!
Kristen Joy Wilks
Oh, and my family was instantly impressed by your bio as one of their favorite characters from a beloved TV show was a pharmaceutical salesman!
Hi Kristen! Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Which tv show?
Kristen Joy Wilks
Oh, the character is Gus from Psyche! Although, he spends very little time actually selling pharmaceuticals as he is being dragged around by Shawn to solve mysteries. Sometimes he does have his briefcase of medication samples at a murder scene though!
Welcome, Barb, to the agency and this blog. I look forward to your “writing wisdom,” as Janet so aptly called it. Already, your comment about giving God “lots of suggestions about the direction in which I thought that my life should go” speaks to my soul. I’m eager to learn more from you!
Shirlee, I’m thrilled to be here! Thank you for stopping by today’s blog. We’re all on this journey together to walk with God and I’m look forward to learning as much as I can from all of you.
Stephen W. Hiemstra
Congratulations on the new step in your career.
Hopefully, we will get a chance to meet you at Capital Christian Writers Fellowship (https://ccwritersfellowship.org).